Hold on to Sixteen

To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other’s hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.

—Clara Ortega

Dear Gio,

Happy 16th Birthday!

Sixteen, wow. In two more years, you are going to be part of the adult world. How can that be? In my eyes, you’ll always be my little baby. When you were born, I was about to celebrate my eighth birthday in less than three months. You were quite a surprise as they were not expecting you to come since our parents were considered to have seemed graduated in their baby making years. Nonetheless, I was still expecting you. When I was in pre-school, I dreamt at least twice that I’ll have a brother. I told everyone but nobody really took me seriously.

But then you came.

It wasn’t easy at all raising you mainly because you were a very hyper child but at the same time, very sickly. There is no standard of care strictly imposed on you. There are days when we have to be strict on you and punish you for being a naughty boy. However, there are days when we cannot discipline you because we were afraid of your convulsion attacks.

Though our parents always state that they do not favor any one of us, I really believe that you were their favorite. First, culture-wise, Asian parents prefer male children over their female ones because they carry the surname of the family and having a surname that’s in the brink of extinction, they were so pleased to have you. Second, you were the youngest and their only son. You easily and naturally get their attention and care. Third, because you were sickly as a child, we all learned to take care of you extraordinarily.

Despite that, I’m not jealous of you at all.

I have to say that you bought so much joy in my life. Yes, we have our bad days which we almost want to kill each other—all siblings reached that point in their every day love-hate relationship. Besides, it’s a general fact that you were self-centered, irrational and so stubborn. You wouldn’t listen to anyone all the time and you lose things all the time because of your untidiness. However, overall you made me happy. I love how you quickly learned things as a child to present. I love how you smile and how you listened to me. I love how you easily believed in everything that I say. I love the games and pranks that we had played. I love (and also hate) how arrogant, conceited and confident you are. I love how we eat together. I love your “boyish charms” which we use so that our mother will buy us pizza. I love how you grew up to be good in math and sciences which is very unlike me. I love how sharp your memory is and know so many things on NBA and movies. I love how you decided to be a Civil Engineer for college because you want to improve our drainage system after suffering much from typhoon Ondoy.

I just love you so much. It is so much that I find myself weirdly obtaining pleasure as I spoil you, too.

You may come late in our life but still, you are a very important gift. On June, you’ll be starting the path on fulfilling your dream in becoming a Civil Engineer in my alma mater, University of Santo Tomas. I have mixed feelings about it. One part of me is extremely excited and one part of me is extremely worried on how you are going to take college. But I must also accept that you are now a big boy who is very competent and capable. I’m sure that you would do well because we raised you well. But please, do not have a girlfriend yet. Mother, Le-Anne and I aren’t ready yet for us to have someone to share in the title, “the only girls in your life”.

But come what may, we will always be here for you. We will support you all the way. We will love you to death. I was lying of course, when I told you that ever since you were born, my life was cursed because you are indeed, a blessing. Enjoy your youth, sixteen is such a fun year so hold on to it as you open yourself to changes you’d never imagine. This is going to be your year. Whatever happens, I’ll be here for you.

May God bless you all the way!

This was from my 21st birthday. Everyone else was busy so he celebrated it with me. One of my favorite days with him. 🙂
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2 thoughts on “Hold on to Sixteen

  1. Hey.. I’m fine with him having a girlfriend :)))) But seeing as he is just as poor as ever, I doubt he’d even think of having one :p

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